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Side hustler’s choice | Chromiez x Lubly

A reliable manure truck, you just need to cut off a little from the top. Sounds irresistible? The Żuk would have been perfect for you. What a shame it hasn’t been available in Hungary for 30 years. We say farewell to our series presenting the Chromiez models with this reliable vehicle also used as a firetruck.

The last star of our Chromiez series is the Żuk boasting a covered luggage area, which would make a perfect food truck. Similarly to the Polski Fiat, this popular automobile also came from the Poles, just like the Nysa, used by the National Ambulance Service as an ambulance for a long time, up until 1987. Żuk fulfilled a public role, too: in addition to being the preferred vehicle of side hustlers, small producers and bigger companies, these cars also fulfilled a firefighting service in Hungary. 

Photo: Fortepan (Courtesy of: Magyar Rendőr)

The Żuk came in a range of body styles, but all shared the same advantage: practicability. Despite the fact that it had a pickup truck version, they many times cut off the top of the models with a closed luggage area so that they could turn them into open, pickup versions with some DIY tuning. This came especially in handy when one wanted to carry manure, for example, which could be loaded in much easier. The Żuk didn’t need much space, it had a tall chassis and was relatively reliable, and so it could be used on many fields. It was officially available in Hungary until 1990, and there were even some who opted for it at this time, especially if they needed to use their cars in harsh circumstances.

Photo: Fortepan (Courtesy of: UVATERV)

Just like the other vehicles of the era, the owners frequently “improved” these cars, too. So that it wouldn’t become unusable on the roads either, they many times replaced the original 3-speed gearbox with a 4-speed one. Żuks had the same engine as the previously mentioned Nysa vehicles, but the Nysa models came with a 4-speed gearbox, which then ended up being placed in the Żuks. It was far from being a comfort car, as it was uncomfortable to drive for taller people. Of course it didn’t have power steering and the drum brakes weren’t too strong either, and it had always been prone to tipping due to its height.

Photo: Fortepan (Courtesy of: Zoltán Szalay)

Unfortunately or not, just like its peers, the Żuks also faded out from today’s streetscape, but we can see more and more moving and operable models that the owners try to preserve for posterity.

The pieces of our limited CHROMIEZ collection are now available in HYPEANDHYPER’s online store. Look for the miniature version of the Żuk with a closed luggage area under the name Lubly – The Workhorse! In addition to the numbered wooden cars, retro car fans can also get special limited edition prints matching the automobiles!

Click on the product and head to our online store right away!


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